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"Super" Chance to See a Spectacular Celestial Event

No one can say they've seen it before, but most Floridians will have a chance Wednesday morning.

It was March 31, 1866 when the last total lunar eclipse occurred during a super moon that was also a blue moon. Nearly 152 years later, the trifecta celestial event dubbed as the Super Blue Blood Moon will occur again just before sunrise January 31, 2018.

Viewing conditions are expected to be super in the northern and central parts of the state, especially along the Gulf Coast from Fort Myers to Pensacola. However, questionable viewing conditions are expected along the Atlantic Coast from Melbourne to Miami, where patches of low clouds are likely to move in off the Atlantic.A total lunar eclipse will occur during the super (and blue) moon Wednesday morning, starting just before 6:00 am. As the earth's shadow begins to obscure the moon, it may turn a shade or hint of red. This is caused by the earth's atmosphere bending red light into the planet's shadow while scattering the blue wavelengths.

How red the moon may appear to Floridians is a bit uncertain, as the umbra phase - the point when the earth's shadow begins to cover the moon - will only occur a few minutes prior to sunrise and moonset.

The best time for Floridians to view the super blue blood moon is between 6:45 and 7:00 am EST. At this time, the moon will be setting in the western sky, just a bit north of due west. Locations with an unobstructed view to the west or at a higher elevation will be ideal.[vc_video link="https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=42&v=IrydklNpcFI" title="NASA Video on Super Blue Blood Moon"]


Meteorologist Cyndee O'Quinn contributed to this report.

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